Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shetland (Scotland)

Shetland has been populated since at least 3400 BC. The early people subsisted on cattle-farming and agriculture. During the Bronze Age, around 2000 BC, the climate cooled and the population moved to the coast. During the Iron Age, many stone fortresses were erected, some ruins of which remain today. Around A.D. 297, Roman sources describe a people known as the Picts who ruled much of north Scotland, and Shetland eventually became part of the Pictish kingdom. Shetland's Picts were later conquered by the Vikings.

Shetland was colonised by Norsemen in the 9th century, the fate of the existing indigenous population being uncertain. The colonisers gave it that name and established their laws and language. That language evolved into the West Nordic language Norn, which survived into the 1800s.




  • Sample :

Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion (pinky undertones, light eyes, rather dark hair, ...), leptomorphic, straight nose, high cheekbones, close-set eyes, rather angular and pointy chin, large jaw
~ Atlantid/Keltic-Nordid




This type constitutes a basic "Celtic" insular phenotype : it is not that prevailing in this part of Scotland. The absence of striking Scandinavian-looking individuals is to be noticed.


- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (light skin, light eyes, rather dark hair, ...), brachymorphic, chubby features, rather low-rooted and little broad nose that can get convex, wide forehead, large and strong jaws, prominent chin, wide-set eyes
~ Alpinoid/Brünn




A very classical pan-British phenotype, it has attracted many authors who used this type to define Britishness. Women classically show "Celtic" dinaromorphism. Once more, even though men could match Borreby types from Scandinavia, the absence of striking Scandinavian-looking types is a reality.


  • Final morphotypes :

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Treviso : Veneto (Italy)

For some scholars, the ancient city of Tarvisium derived its name from a settlement of the Celtic tribe of the Taurusci. Others have attributed the name instead to the Indo European root tarvos, meaning "bull". Tarvisium, then a city of the Veneti, became a municipium in 89 BC after the Romans added Cisalpine Gaul to their dominions.



  • Sample :

Full scale

  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion (chestnut hair, light eyes, ...), leptomorphic, rather narrow face, long and straight high-rooted nose that can get arched, close set eyes, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Dinaromorphic Nordo-Mediterranean




Part of a rather pan-Italian variability, these phenotypes are specifically North Italian due to complexion. Very arched noses may be proper to the Adriatic. More robust and nordoid variants (straight puffy nose, very large jaws, ...) are quite specific from the area.





- Type 2 : Intermediate complexion (dark hair, ...), rather brachymorphic, convex nose, large face, close set eyes, large jaw
~ Dinaromorphic (Alpino-)Mediterranean




This type is more or less absent in Vicenza, it seems to be a coastal Adriatic type that we encountered in Venezia Giulia. Eventually more classical Alpinoid/Subnordid male types (little eyes, puffy features, wide-set eyes, ...) are to be found.




  • Final morphotypes :

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Santillana : Cantabria (Spain)

Cantabria is the richest region in the world in archaeological sites from the Upper Paleolithic period. The first signs of human occupation date from Lower Paleolithic, although this period is not so well represented in the region. The most significant cave painting site is the cave of Altamira, dated from about 16,000 to 9,000 BC.

See here for Eastern Cantabria : Santander.





Linguistic divisions in modern Cantabria



  • Sample :

Full scale



  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Dark complexion (dark hair, ... but light eyes are frequent), leptomorphic, long face (particularly on males), straight or convex nose rather parallel to the face, rather close-set eyes, high cheekbones, pointy chin, large jaw
~ (Dinaricized) Atlanto-Mediterranean




A pan-Iberian type, these individuals nevertheless show affinities with NW Iberia (Galicia, Asturias, ...) when it comes to secondary features such as the eye region (rather "slanted" eyes on some individuals).


- Type 2 : Dark complexion (dark hair, black eyes, ...), more or less brachymorphic, reduced and "puffy" features, in some cases high-headed, rather little nose (on males at least), strong jaw, close-set eyes
~ Alpino-Mediterranean




Once more a very classical North Iberian type
. Puffier individuals announce Galicia and Asturias. Square-shaped variants are quite typical and quite dominant in this sample, contrary to neighbouring Santander. On average, those individuals' complexion is lighter (green/blue eyes, chestnut hair, ...).




  • Final morphotypes :

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friesland : Noord-Nederland (The Netherlands)

Most speakers of West Frisian live in the province of Friesland in the north of the Netherlands. In the early Middle Ages the Frisian lands stretched from the area around Bruges, in what is now Belgium, to the river Weser, in northern Germany. At that time, the Frisian language was spoken along the entire southern North Sea coast. Today this region is sometimes referred to as Greater Frisia or Frisia Magna, and many of the areas within it still treasure their Frisian heritage, even though in most places the Frisian language has been lost.




  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 :
Light complexion (medium light hair, light eyes, ...), brachymorphic, general robust features, squared-box face, high and broad forehead, little and broad nose that can get concave, deep jaw, wide-set eyes
~ Borreby




A very common type in Northern Europe, it is well representated in this area. A variant of this type is characterized by high cheekbones.





- Type 2 : Light complexion (blonde hair with ash-blonde shades, ...), leptomorphic, general robust features, high forehead, convex nose, large and strong jaw, pointy chin, close-set eyes
~ (Dinaricized) Nordid




Those dinaromorphic individuals remind us of the infamous "horsy" phenotype found in Dutch-speaking Belgium. On avarage, Frisians might appear to be more dinaromorphic than neighbouring Dutch people in Groningen. Still, rather Nordid people can be found (some of them looking like elongated variants of the first type) :




  • Final morphotypes :

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Zalaegerszeg : Western Transdanubia (Hungary)

Zalaegerszeg lies on the banks of the Zala River, close to the modern Slovenian and Austrian borders. The area was already inhabited in the Upper Paleolithic, according to archaeological findings. Its original first documented inhabitants were the Pannonii (Pannonians), a group of tribes akin to Illyrians. From the 4th century BC it was invaded by various Celtic tribes.

The first written mentions of the town are as Egerscug (1247) and Egerszeg (1293); the name means "alder-tree corner" and is probably a reference to the town's situation in the angle where two rivers meet.





  • Sample :
Full scale


  • Brief anthropological analysis :

- Type 1 : Intermediate complexion, leptomorphic, leptoprosopic yet probably brachycephalic, narrow eyes, long and narrow arched nose, high forehead, large jaw, pointy chin
~ Dinarid




A very common type in Eastern Europe abundantly found in the Balkans for instance. Puffier features can be found on some individuals (puffier noses, flushy lips, ...).




- Type 2 : Rather dark complexion (from dark to medium blonde hair), brachymorphic, large square-shaped head, little and distanced oblique eyes, low orbits, broad and straight nose, full lips, weak browridges, large jaw, receding chin
~ Alpinid/Gorid




Another common type in Eastern Europe. Less archetypal and more classical individuals (light complexion, puffy nose, leptomorphic, ...) are found. These types do find counterparts in Western Europe ("elongated Borreby ?").




  • Final morphotypes :